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University of Michigan Law School

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Full-Text Articles in Judges

Textualism For Realists, Ian Samuel Apr 2019

Textualism For Realists, Ian Samuel

Michigan Law Review

Review of Richard L. Hasen's The Justice of Contradictions: Antonin Scalia and the Politics of Disruption.


Arguing With Friends, William Baude, Ryan D. Doerfler Nov 2018

Arguing With Friends, William Baude, Ryan D. Doerfler

Michigan Law Review

Judges sometimes disagree about the best way to resolve a case. But the conventional wisdom is that they should not be too swayed by such disagreement and should do their best to decide the case by their own lights. An emerging critique questions this view, arguing instead for widespread humility. In the face of disagreement, the argument goes, judges should generally concede ambiguity and uncertainty in almost all contested cases.

Both positions are wrong. Drawing on the philosophical concepts of “peer disagreement” and “epistemic peerhood,” we argue for a different approach: A judge ought to give significant weight to the ...


The Rhetorical Canons Of Construction: New Textualism's Rhetoric Problem, Charlie D. Stewart Jun 2018

The Rhetorical Canons Of Construction: New Textualism's Rhetoric Problem, Charlie D. Stewart

Michigan Law Review

New Textualism is ascendant. Elevated to prominence by the late Justice Antonin Scalia and championed by others like Justice Neil Gorsuch, the method of interpretation occupies an increasingly dominant place in American jurisprudence. Yet, this Comment argues the proponents of New Textualism acted unfairly to reach this lofty perch. To reach this conclusion, this Comment develops and applies a framework to evaluate the rhetoric behind New Textualism: the rhetorical canons of construction. Through the rhetorical canons, this Comment demonstrates that proponents of New Textualism advance specious arguments, declare other methods illegitimate hypocritically, refuse to engage with the merits of their ...


Both Sides Of The Rock: Justice Gorsuch And The Seminole Rock Deference Doctrine, Kevin O. Leske May 2018

Both Sides Of The Rock: Justice Gorsuch And The Seminole Rock Deference Doctrine, Kevin O. Leske

Michigan Journal of Environmental & Administrative Law

Despite being early in his tenure on the U.S. Supreme Court, Justice Neil Gorsuch has already made his presence known. His October 16, 2017 statement respecting the denial of certiorari in Scenic America, Inc. v. Department of Transportation garnered significant attention within the legal community. Joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito, Justice Gorsuch questioned whether the Court’s bedrock 2-part test from Chevron, U.S.A. v. NRDC—whereby courts must defer to an agency’s reasonable interpretation of an ambiguous statutory term—should apply in the case.

Justice Gorsuch’s criticism of the Chevron ...


The Pragmatism Of Interpretation: A Review Of Richard A. Posner, The Federal Judiciary, Amul R. Thapar, Benjamin Beaton Apr 2018

The Pragmatism Of Interpretation: A Review Of Richard A. Posner, The Federal Judiciary, Amul R. Thapar, Benjamin Beaton

Michigan Law Review

A review of Richard A. Posner, The Federal Judiciary.


Why The Burger Court Mattered, David A. Strauss Apr 2018

Why The Burger Court Mattered, David A. Strauss

Michigan Law Review

A review of Michael J. Graetz and Linda Greenhouse, The Burger Court and the Rise of the Judicial Right.


Draft Of A Letter Of Recommendation To The Honorable Alex Kozinski, Which I Guess I'M Not Going To Send Now, Yxta Maya Murray Jan 2018

Draft Of A Letter Of Recommendation To The Honorable Alex Kozinski, Which I Guess I'M Not Going To Send Now, Yxta Maya Murray

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

This legal-literary essay engages the current social and jurisprudential moment, encapsulated by the hashtag #metoo. It focuses on the allegations, made in the first week of December 2017, that Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Alex Kozinski verbally sexually harassed former law clerks Emily Murphy and Heidi Bond. I wrote the lioness’s share of the piece during December 10–11—that is, in the days before news outlets reported that other women complained of Kozinski touching them on the thigh or breast while propositioning them for sex or discussing recent sexual encounters—and concluded that Kozinski was unlikely to ...


International Judicial Practices: Opening The "Black Box" Of International Courts, Jeffrey L. Dunoff, Mark A. Pollack Jan 2018

International Judicial Practices: Opening The "Black Box" Of International Courts, Jeffrey L. Dunoff, Mark A. Pollack

Michigan Journal of International Law

This paper utilizes “practice theory” to identify and analyze the everyday practices of international judges, with particular focus on practices associated with judicial decision-making. Examining judicial practices illuminates a wide range of otherwise hidden activities that shape international judicial opinions; provides a pathway toward uncovering the subjective understandings that international judges attach to their own behaviors; and reveals underlying causal processes and mechanisms that influence tribunal decisions. By opening the “black box” of international courts, the practice turn permits us to shed light on their inner workings, and thereby enrich our understanding of these increasingly important bodies.


Criminal Certification: Restoring Comity In The Categorical Approach, Joshua Rothenberg Nov 2017

Criminal Certification: Restoring Comity In The Categorical Approach, Joshua Rothenberg

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

Federal sentencing enhancements force federal courts to delve into the world of substantive state criminal law. Does a state assault statute require violent force or just offensive touching? Does a state burglary statute that criminalizes breaking into a car or a house require prosecutors to charge the location entered as an element? Whether a person with prior convictions convicted of violating 18 U.S.C. § 922(g) faces a minimum sentence of fifteen years and a maximum of life imprisonment rather than a maximum sentence of ten years turns upon the answers to these questions. Yet, state law often does ...


Corpus Linguistics: Misfire Or More Ammo For The Ordinary - Meaning Canon?, John D. Ramer Nov 2017

Corpus Linguistics: Misfire Or More Ammo For The Ordinary - Meaning Canon?, John D. Ramer

Michigan Law Review

Scholars and judges have heralded corpus linguistics—the study of language through collections of spoken or written texts—as a novel tool for statutory interpretation that will help provide an answer in the occasionally ambiguous search for “ordinary meaning” using dictionaries. In the spring of 2016, the Michigan Supreme Court became the first to use corpus linguistics in a majority opinion. The dissent also used it, however, and the two opinions reached different conclusions. In the first true test for corpus linguistics, the answer seemed to be just as ambiguous as before.

This result calls into question the utility of ...


Judge Kozinski Objects, Beth H. Wilensky Sep 2017

Judge Kozinski Objects, Beth H. Wilensky

Articles

Sitting judges don’t get to practice law. So although they often opine on the dos and don’ts of effective advocacy, we rarely get to see them put their advice into practice. But a few years ago, a class-action lawsuit provided the rare opportunity to witness a federal judge acting as an advocate before another federal judge—if not in the role of attorney, then certainly in as close to that role as we are likely to see. Given the chance to employ his own advice about effective advocacy, would the judge—Alex Kozinski—practice what he preaches? Would ...


Rethinking Criminal Contempt, John A.E. Pottow, Jason S. Levin May 2017

Rethinking Criminal Contempt, John A.E. Pottow, Jason S. Levin

Articles

It is of course too early to tell whether we are in a new era of bankruptcy judge (dis)respectability. Only time will tell. But this Article performs a specific case study, on one discrete area of bankruptcy court authority, based upon a particular assumption in that regard. The assumption is this: certain high-salience judicial events-here, the recent Supreme Court bankruptcy judge decisions, coupled with earlier constitutional precedents involving the limits of Article III-can trigger overreaction and hysteria. Lower courts may read these Supreme Court decisions as calling into question the permissibility of certain bankruptcy court practices under the Constitution ...


Foreword: The Books Of Justices, Linda Greenhouse Apr 2017

Foreword: The Books Of Justices, Linda Greenhouse

Michigan Law Review

For this Michigan Law Review issue devoted to recently published books about law, I thought it would be interesting to see what books made an appearance in the past year’s work of the Supreme Court. I catalogued every citation to every book in those forty opinions in order to see what patterns emerged: what books the justices cited, which justices cited which books, and what use they made of the citations. To begin with, I should define what I mean by “books". For the purposes of this Foreword, I excluded some types of reading matter that may have a ...


Justice Scalia And The Idea Of Judicial Restraint, John F. Manning Apr 2017

Justice Scalia And The Idea Of Judicial Restraint, John F. Manning

Michigan Law Review

Review of A Matter of Interpretation: Federal Courts and the Law by Antonin Scalia .


The New Front In The Clean Air Wars: Fossil-Fuel Influence Over State Attorneys General- And How It Might Be Checked, Eli Savit Apr 2017

The New Front In The Clean Air Wars: Fossil-Fuel Influence Over State Attorneys General- And How It Might Be Checked, Eli Savit

Michigan Law Review

Review of Struggling for Air: Power and the "War On Coal" by Richard L. Revesz and Jack Leinke, and Federalism on Trial: State Attorneys General and National Policymaking in Contemporary America by Paul Nolette.


The Tragedy Of Justice Scalia, Mitchell N. Berman Apr 2017

The Tragedy Of Justice Scalia, Mitchell N. Berman

Michigan Law Review

Review of A Matter of Interpretation: Federal Courts and the Law by Antonin Scalia .


Linnaean Taxonomy And Globalized Law, Ronald J. Krotoszynski Jr. Apr 2017

Linnaean Taxonomy And Globalized Law, Ronald J. Krotoszynski Jr.

Michigan Law Review

Review of The Court and the World: American Law and the New Global Realities by Stephen Breyer.


Rethinking Criminal Contempt In The Bankruptcy Courts, John A. E. Pottow, Jason S. Levin Mar 2017

Rethinking Criminal Contempt In The Bankruptcy Courts, John A. E. Pottow, Jason S. Levin

Law & Economics Working Papers

A surprising number of courts believe that bankruptcy judges lack authority to impose criminal contempt sanctions. We attempt to rectify this misunderstanding with a march through the historical treatment of contempt-like powers in bankruptcy, the painful statutory history of the 1978 Bankruptcy Code (including the exciting history of likely repealed 28 U.S.C. § 1481), and the various apposite rules of procedure. (Fans of the All Writs Act will delight in its inclusion.) But the principal service we offer to the bankruptcy community is dismantling the ubiquitous and persistent belief that there is some form of constitutional infirmity with "mere ...


Judge Gorsuch And Johnson Resentencing (This Is Not A Joke), Leah M. Litman Jan 2017

Judge Gorsuch And Johnson Resentencing (This Is Not A Joke), Leah M. Litman

Michigan Law Review Online

Jan Crawford has reported that President Donald Trump is strongly considering appointing Judge Neil Gorsuch of the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit to the U.S. Supreme Court. I do not know Judge Gorsuch, but I do know his opinion in Prost v. Anderson, which is a rather wonky case on a somewhat technical area of federal habeas law. Prost provides an interesting insight into Judge Gorsuch’s jurisprudence. The case concerns an issue on which the courts of appeals disagree, so it provides a nice glimpse into how Judge Gorsuch might address matters that are ...


Child Abuse Evidence: New Perspectives From Law, Medicine, Psychology & Statistics: Opening Remarks, November 6, 2015, Bridget M. Mccormack Jan 2017

Child Abuse Evidence: New Perspectives From Law, Medicine, Psychology & Statistics: Opening Remarks, November 6, 2015, Bridget M. Mccormack

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

Opening remarks by Justice Bridget McCormack, Michigan Supreme Court on November 6, 2015.


Amendment Creep, Jonathan L. Marshfield Nov 2016

Amendment Creep, Jonathan L. Marshfield

Michigan Law Review

To most lawyers and judges, constitutional amendment rules are nothing more than the technical guidelines for changing a constitution’s text. But amendment rules contain a great deal of substance that can be relevant to deciding myriad constitutional issues. Indeed, judges have explicitly drawn on amendment rules when deciding issues as far afield as immigration, criminal procedure, free speech, and education policy. The Supreme Court, for example, has reasoned that, because Article V of the U.S. Constitution places no substantive limitations on formal amendment, the First Amendment must protect even the most revolutionary political viewpoints. At the state level ...


The Sec, Administrative Usurpation, And Insider Trading, Adam C. Pritchard Oct 2016

The Sec, Administrative Usurpation, And Insider Trading, Adam C. Pritchard

Articles

The history of insider trading law is a tale of administrative usurpation and legislative acquiescence. Congress has never enacted a prohibition against insider trading, much less defined it. Instead, the SEC has led in defining insider trading, albeit without the formality of rulemaking, and subject to varying degrees of oversight by the courts. The reason why lies in the deference that the Supreme Court gave to the SEC in its formative years. The roots of insider trading law are commonly traced to the SEC’s decision in Cady, Roberts & Co. Cady, Roberts was only made possible, however, by the Supreme ...


Thin Rationality Review, Jacob Gersen, Adrian Vermeule Jun 2016

Thin Rationality Review, Jacob Gersen, Adrian Vermeule

Michigan Law Review

Under the Administrative Procedure Act, courts review and set aside agency action that is “arbitrary [and] capricious.” In a common formulation of rationality review, courts must either take a “hard look” at the rationality of agency decisionmaking, or at least ensure that agencies themselves have taken a hard look. We will propose a much less demanding and intrusive interpretation of rationality review—a thin version. Under a robust range of conditions, rational agencies have good reason to decide in a manner that is inaccurate, nonrational, or arbitrary. Although this claim is seemingly paradoxical or internally inconsistent, it simply rests on ...


The Sec's Shift To Administrative Proceedings: An Empirical Assessment, Adam C. Pritchard, Stephen Choi Feb 2016

The Sec's Shift To Administrative Proceedings: An Empirical Assessment, Adam C. Pritchard, Stephen Choi

Law & Economics Working Papers

Congress has repeatedly expanded the authority of the SEC to pursue violations of the securities laws in proceedings decided by its own administrative law judges, most recently in the Dodd Frank Act. We report the results from an empirical study of SEC enforcement actions against non-financial public companies to assess the impact of the Dodd Frank Act on the balance between SEC district court and administrative enforcement actions. We show a general decline in the number of court actions against public companies post Dodd Frank. At the same time, we show an increase in average civil penalties post-Dodd Frank for ...


The Return Of Coverture, Allison Anna Tait Jan 2016

The Return Of Coverture, Allison Anna Tait

Michigan Law Review First Impressions

Once, the notion that husbands and wives were equal partners in marriage seemed outlandish and unnatural. Today, the marriage narrative has been reversed and the prevailing attitude is that marriage has become an increasingly equitable institution. This is the story that Justice Kennedy told in Obergefell v. Hodges, in which he described marriage as an evolving institution that has adapted in response to social change such that discriminatory marriage rules no longer apply. Coverture exemplifies this change: marriage used to be deeply shaped by coverture rules and now it is not. While celebrating the demise of coverture, however, the substantive ...


The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly: Reflections Of A Counterclerk, Gil Seinfeld Jan 2016

The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly: Reflections Of A Counterclerk, Gil Seinfeld

Michigan Law Review First Impressions

Everyone has strong feelings about Justice Scalia. Lionized by the political right and demonized by the left, he has been among the most polarizing figures in American public life over the course of the last halfcentury. It is hardly surprising, then, that in the weeks since Justice Scalia’s death, the public discourse surrounding his legacy has exhibited something of a split personality. There have, of course, been plenty of appropriately respectful—even admiring—tributes from some of the Justice’s ideological adversaries; and here and there one of the Justice’s champions has acknowledged, with a hint of lament ...


Lights Hidden Under Bushel's Case, Thomas A. Green Jan 2016

Lights Hidden Under Bushel's Case, Thomas A. Green

Book Chapters

Some forty years ago, Charlie Donahue created a course which he titled "Law, Morals and Society." Designed for undergraduates, and situated among the offerings of the University of Michigan's interdisciplinary Medieval and Renaissance Collegium, the course reflected the approach to doing history that, as this volume recognizes, Charlie has followed throughout his long and enormously influential career as scholar, teacher, lecturer, and inepressible master of well-timed interventions during conference-panel discussion periods. "LMS" was composed of four units. Charlie, who taught two of them, led off with the legal basis for the deposition of Richard II; I followed with the ...


Is Theocracy Our Politics? Thoughts On William Baude's 'Is Originalism Our Law?', Richard A. Primus Jan 2016

Is Theocracy Our Politics? Thoughts On William Baude's 'Is Originalism Our Law?', Richard A. Primus

Articles

In Is Originalism Our Law?, William Baude has made a good kind of argument in favor of originalism. Rather than contending that originalism is the only coherent theory for interpreting a constitution, he makes the more modest claim that it happens to be the way that American judges interpret our Constitution. If he is right—if originalism is our law—then judges deciding constitutional cases ought to be originalists. But what exactly would the content of that obligation be? Calling some interpretive method “our law” might suggest that judges have an obligation to decide cases by reference to that method ...


When Congress Is Away The President Shall Not Play: Justice Scalia's Concurrence In Nlrb V. Noel Canning, Krista M. Pikus Oct 2015

When Congress Is Away The President Shall Not Play: Justice Scalia's Concurrence In Nlrb V. Noel Canning, Krista M. Pikus

Michigan Law Review First Impressions

On June 26, 2014, the Supreme Court unanimously decided NLRB v. Noel Canning, holding that the Recess Appointments Clause authorizes the president “to fill any existing vacancy during any recess . . . of sufficient length.” Justice Scalia filed a concurring opinion, joined by Chief Justice Roberts, Justice Thomas, and Justice Alito. While Justice Scalia “concurred,” his opinion read more like a dissent. Both the majority and the concurring opinions relied heavily on historical evidence in arriving at their respective opinions. This was expected from Justice Scalia given his method of “new originalism,” which focuses on “the original public meaning of the constitutional ...


Dirks And The Genesis Of Personal Benefit, Adam C. Pritchard Jun 2015

Dirks And The Genesis Of Personal Benefit, Adam C. Pritchard

Articles

In United States v. Newman, the Second Circuit overturned the insider trading convictions of two hedge fund managers who received material nonpublic information from public companies via an extended tipping chain. The Newman court interpreted the Supreme Court's decision in Dirks v. SEC as requiring that the government prove: (1) that the tippee knew that the tipper was disclosing the information in exchange for a personal benefit; and (2) that if the personal benefit does not involve a quid pro quo to the tipper, that the disclosure arise from a "meaningfully close personal relationship" with the recipient of the ...